“I’m Leaving On a Jet Plane………..”. Bring Narcan


Is there a Doctor onboard?  Those dreaded words. Here’s what you get to look forward to?

Delta Air Lines has announced it will begin carrying a drug used to reverse opioid overdoses on every plane after a passenger reportedly died on a flight earlier this month.”

Now an extension of the opiate epidemic, overdoses on board planes are happening, and if ever summoned, physicians will have to include this in the differential. In a sense having Narcan available, this makes sense. In terms of liability, treating an overdose at 10,000 feet presents certain risks. Do the risks outweigh the benefits? Make your own determination. I would welcome the Narcan if the plane kit contained it. However, what if the overdose was severe such that the Narcan was ineffective would there be liability for the physician? “Narcan is a nasal spray that has been proven to reverse opioid overdoses and save lives when the drug is quickly administered to a patient.” But we all know the potency of opiates and amount of opiates being used is significant and increased. Narcan may in fact not be enough to reverse certain severe overdoses. In a sense the notion that the opiate epidemic has progressed to needing Narcan on flights is sad. This is what it has come too. Like it or not, if you are on board and they request for a doctor, physicians are now in the position to have to treat something they might not be comfortable with or have expertise with. I would hate to be in this position, but the reality is that drug addicts will fly and will overdose on planes. To the extent that planes all now carry AED’s, now carrying Narcan is a sign of the times and the next step towards saving lives. 

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